Green Steel Logistics Hub: Rhenus becomes a pioneer in green steel logistics

by David Fleschen

The Rhenus Group is realising a Green Steel Logistics Hub for steel logistics at its Dortmund site. With the aim of handling and transporting steel in the most environmentally friendly way possible, the hub is expected to go into operation in autumn 2024. Rhenus is therefore primarily targeting steel-producing, steel-trading and steel-processing companies.

The logistics service provider Rhenus is making various adjustments to make logistics processes more sustainable. For example, a transshipment hub is being built in Dortmund under the Rhenus flag, which will serve companies from the steel industry as an important link in a sustainable and emission-reduced supply chain. The logistics expert is modernising one of its existing warehouses for the project. The measures include a new roof, on which a photovoltaic system measuring around 4,000 square metres will be installed. The electricity generated will power the crane systems, the building itself and the charging infrastructure for electric lorries.

The four electric lorries that will be used for the last mile between the terminal and the recipient have already been ordered. Rhenus is primarily targeting the market for rolled and flat steel with the Green Steel Logistics Hub and is thus enablingCO2-reduced distribution of steel in the Dortmund region and the eastern Ruhr area. The trimodal terminal in Dortmund's Mathieshafen is conveniently located at important hubs in the heart of the Ruhr region with good connections to motorways and waterways.

The favourable location makes it possible to transport the steel from the major seaports to Dortmund via the already lower-emission waterway compared to other modes of transport and from there to distribute it further inland using electric trucks. In addition to the ecological modernisation of the logistics properties, Rhenus is also working on a fleet of inland waterway vessels with even lower emissions. "Most logistics companies only look at one cog in the supply chain and make it 'green'. We do this holistically: PV-powered warehouses, diesel-free onward transport thanks to e-trucks and low-emission transport via the European waterways," summarises Michael Petersmann, Managing Director of Rhenus Port Logistics Rhein-Ruhr.

In a radius of around 50 kilometres around Dortmund, steel products will be delivered to customers via electric trucks. These will charge their batteries at the new Green Steel Logistics Hub using modern e-charging points. "Steel is not the first thing that most people think of when they hear the word 'sustainability'. But a lot can be done to produce steel in the most environmentally friendly way possible and also to transport it from A to B. With our Green Steel Logistics Hub in Dortmund, we are already providing a green infrastructure perspective with an ever-increasing proportion of green steel on the market," continues Michael Petersmann. This is particularly pleasing for steel producers who are focussing on hydrogen instead of coal energy in the future.

The project is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with a total of 1,580,781.82 euros as part of the directive on the promotion of light and heavy commercial vehicles with alternative, climate-friendly drive systems and associated refuelling and charging infrastructure (KsNI). The funding programme is coordinated by NOW GmbH and applications are approved by the Federal Office of Logistics and Mobility.

"Without the funding programme, we would not have been able to implement the future vision for our port terminal in Dortmund. Only if state aid like this is made possible can projects like this be realised at the moment. In order to achieve the German government's sustainability goals, support from funding programmes is absolutely essential for implementing further projects of this kind in our ports," summarises Michael Petersmann.

With the Green Steel Logistics Hub, Rhenus is also offering a more sustainable alternative from a logistics perspective and is helping to establish climate-friendly supply chains. The Rhenus Group is already in talks with some potential customers and there is currently still capacity for further projects.

Source and Photo: Rhenus

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